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golden eyes in the tumble dryer

My mobile rang yesterday evening. Is that Lilith’s mum? asked a woman’s voice. My heart lurched.

Despite it being biologically impossible, I admitted that I was, yes, and thinking Dear lord – what now? This kind woman, appropriately named Cat, had found Lilith’s missing collar tags* in her back yard. They went missing a few weeks ago, and I hadn’t actually got round to getting her another set. Cat lives a few doors up, and said she would drop them off, but as it was in the wrong direction for where she said she was headed, I decided to walk up and meet her.

Well, well. Cat has two cats, one of whom is Lily’s great pal. Lil makes an absolute dash to get in Cat’s house, and has been seen shoving a brick nearly her own weight away from Cat’s side gate to get through to the yard.  She’s also been seen in the new development right at the top of the road, and lord knows where else. Dreadful cat, she is. Most grateful to Cat for taking the trouble to call, and for giving me info on the wanderer’s stamping ground.

When I saw bluetooth Tiles looking for funding last year, I pre-ordered four, and one of them is going *straight* on Lily’s collar.

*Yes, tags. Both double sided, one giving her name, and “I am microchipped” on the reverse, and the other saying “I have a home” and “please do not feed me”.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Sybil the Sybarite

Overnight, the kits appear to have reached some sort of milestone. We had a few musician friends round last night, but at the first sound of an accordion Sybil and Polly fled upstairs; unsurprising, as Henry in particular took ages to get used to the sound of Morris tunes played on boxes. Syb did venture down later, though, and charmed her audience.

This morning, I could hear them galumphing around from downstairs. “Ah hah!”, I thought. “The hob nailed boots have arrived”. (These are issued to all kittens at some point, for additional noise making when rushing about). They are now into running at full pelt, climbing anything in sight, removing the laundry from the drying rack, etc.

And to add insult to injury for the Incumbents, this morning the kits followed me downstairs, and helped themselves to the Big Cats’ breakfast. Two bowls of Whiskas, one kitten eating from each, and three somewhat baffled Huge Boys at the other end of the kitchen, wondering just what had happened. I did the kits a bowl of kitten fud, and bore them away upstairs.

In other, slightly worrying, news, No sign of Lilith this morning, and the weather is foul here. No doubt she’s safe and warm somewhere, but it doesn’t stop me panicking slightly …

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Everything seems much as normal for Lilith now – her pluth is growing back, the scar has healed nicely, and she’s starting to be more … herself.  She is, occasionally, taking herself through the catflap; my heart is in my mouth, but I guess I’ll get used to it, and I wouldn’t attempt to confine her anyway.

Interestingly, since she came home, the boys have let her eat on her own; we put two bowls of food down every morning, and usually it’s just a melée, but since she’s been poorly Ron, Mustrum and Henry have gathered round one bowl, and left Lily to her own devices with the other one, only eating from it when she’d left. That changed yesterday, and Ron was troughing with her, and today too. Perhaps they sense her improvement too.

So, it’s been vile and horrible and expensive, but she is as well with it as is possible to be, I think. And better a three-legged Lily than no Lily at all. I’ve taken to calling her the ZombieCat, as she lurches about, but in truth she’s now moving pretty well. A couple of things threw her last week – a leap onto the landing bannister was a tad over-ambitious, and I thought she was going to topple over. And when she spotted the laundry basket was open, she made her usual dive for it, lost her balance on the edge and fell in.

The most disturbing thing is that she now looks exactly like Liessa, to the point where Pete and I have both found ourselves addressing her as Bada. This is scary; Liessa was already The People’s Princess reincarnated, and now she appears to have passed her Badaness on to Lilith. We are afraid.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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This is the question that some people are asking! So …

Last Tuesday, 23 June, we noticed that one of Lily’s stitches had come out, and we were a little worried about the wound. I rang Kingston, who said to bring her down, so Pete did so. They checked her over,  and were perfectly happy with her, and didn’t charge us!

Two days later, she was back to have the rest of the stitches out; I bowed out of that one too and sent Pete. Apparently it took one vet, one blob *and* one veterinary nurse to accomplish it :) (They didn’t charge for that either – I’m impressed). She was supposed to have her jabs too, but she was (and still is) a bit sniffly, so they didn’t want to do it.

Other than that, she’s been living in the bedroom. We gave up with the cage on Tuesday (I think), and Lilith decided that where she wanted to be was on my pillow. Day or  night. So I have had to share it at night. Her side has a regal purple towel on it, but she is no respecter of boundaries. She’s eating well, and showing non signs of wanting to go through the cat flap, and I’m quite, quite happy for her to be an indoor cat, thanks.

Yesterday, she came down, and spent the afternoon on our laps (not at the same time, obviously, but back and forth). She then decamped to the kitchen and curled up on the worktop, where she stayed for the rest of the day. And the night. But I was good, and only got up three times to check she was OK.

Her pluth is returning, and she actually swiped me the other morning, which was lovely – our horrible Lily is returning!

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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The patient

So, she went in the crate on Monday night. She was not pleased. She spent most of the night banging and crashing about, in a temper, as we thought. However, in the morning, the score appeared to be Lilith 1 : Cone 0. She’d managed to remove it during the hours of darkness. We looked at her, we looked at it, we thought “no, thanks”. And she is so much more comfortable without it, and doesn’t seem to be pulling at her stitches at all (and the wound looks to be healing properly), we’ve left it off.

She has a ravening appetite, but after Tuesday morning’s escapade, she’s been content to stay in the house. Most of yesterday was spent curled up on Pete’s hessian backpack, on a cool, quiet shelf in the bedroom; presumably, at some point, the pack annoyed her in some way, and she cast it to the ground. But she looked relaxed, and comfortable, and properly asleep. Apart from her Sheba morning and night, she consumed 60g of roast turkey during the afternoon (Ron and Henry obligingly finished the rest), and then she moved downstairs to sleep on the dining table when we were in the living room. She can jump a bit higher, move a little easier, every day, and I am utterly confident that she will cope, and cope well, in the future.

Considering the practicalities of stuffing a cat in her condition, with her attitude, into one of our front opening cat boxes, Pete cycled off to the vets yesterday and picked up a top loading wire basket. Astonishingly, neither Argos nor Pets at Home stock these; now we have one, they seem far nicer for most cat journeys.

We put her back in  her cage last night, not least because we are keeping the cat flap shut during the day (the boys can go though the back door and over the walls. I’m hoping she, er, won’t). But at night, they need to come and go at will, and I’m not ready to let her out the front before the stitches are out. She banged about a bit, but settled quite quickly, so that’s where she’ll be at night for a while, and during the day too if we’re out for any length of time. The cone stopped her getting through the flap, but now it’s been vanquished, we need to ensuring that she is safe. And the neighbourhood, come to that.

We also hear that the Woman Up The Road has now moved out. Thank $deity for that. Pity I couldn’t stiff her for some of the bill, though.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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So, we picked her up yesterday at about 5.30. Long chat with the vet, bore away powdered antibiotics, and liquid painkillers, so no pilling. Hurrah! We drove home carefully, and decided to take her straight upstairs in her carry basket, so that she could emerge in her own time, and be quiet. And before we turned round, she’d lurched off along the landing like an extra from World War Z, down the stairs, and onto one of the big red beanbags, where she settled for quite some time. Ron was wary, Mustrum just said “Oh, Lily’s back” and Henry was really, really unhappy; I guess she looked like Lilith, but smelled wrong.

During the course of the evening, she went into the tube on the cat tree, into a couple of boxes of DVDs awaiting collection, into a basket of Stuff, into an empty cardboard box, and onto the other big red beanbag. In passing, she snarfed the remains of our smoked salmon omelettes, before eventually settling on my lap, having rejected Pete’s first.

She had some tinned tuna for tea, laced with antibiotic, then accompanied us up to bed, where she slept on my pillow all night. I, however, barely slept at all, because she is wearing a cone, and every time she moved, she disturbed me. And it was Too Hot. Tonight, she’s going in a dog cage, so we can all get some rest.

This morning, she remained on the pillow after we got up, then took herself off downstairs and used her litter tray (we put out a shallow one for her), scattering litter everywhere. But still, this is good. And then … she vanished. One moment there, the next gone. We called, we checked everywhere, we panic’d a bit. then Pete got the big ladder from upstairs and spotted her in next door’s yard. Which means she gone across the tool shed, across the log store, across the other log store and onto the bike shed roof, before going over the wall.

We wondered what to do. Far too hot to shut all the doors. So we decided to check whether she could make it back. I made the call that brings the Tribe home for treaats: “Iggeeeeee”. And over the wall she came, and was rewarded with tuna, and Sheba, and painkillers and antbiotics. Since then she’s been slumped on the back of the sofa, on the beanbag, in the bedroom doorway, and is now under the bed, draped over the Roomba. No, we don’t know why. We guess she’s mending :)

Back to the vet on Thursday for a wound check, and then again in a few days to have the stitches out. I honestly think she finds the cone more irritating than her missing leg; she’s a pragmatic and courageous little beast. Here’s the bill so far. Ouch. But the alternative would be no Lily, and what use would that be?


Mirrored from the Tribe.

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golden eyes of Lilith

There was a knock on the door this morning, and the mad old bat* from down the road was stood there. “Do you own a white cat?” she asked. Well, we did buy a cream cat, but I don’t like to say we actually own any of our cats. But that seemed a bit semantic, so I just said “Yes”, and worried that she was going to tell me that Lil was injured, or worse. Coming on top of Iggy’s disappearance (yes, he is still gone) that would be very hard to take.

Anyhoo, she has been feeding Lilith because she “thought she was a stray”. Right.  Looking it up today, it is just 10 days past two years since I had this conversation with her (see here). She’s only been going walkabout again for a few weeks, so I guess this woman forgot (to give her the benefit of the doubt). She seemed quite confused, firstly saying that Lil came in through her catflap, and then that she “let her out to have a wee”. I have asked her yet again not to feed her, and I’m going out this evening to purchase a collar. I don’t like them, and I’m not sure Lily will actually wear it, but perhaps it will remind this seemingly senile woman (no, not me) that the cream cat is not a stray, and in fact lives somewhere else. With us.

*well, she might not be , but she damn well seems like it.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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As I mentioned, Iggy is spending a lot of time away from home, and yesterday my suspicion is confirmed. The elderly couple over the road are feeding him. I went over yesterday while Kath was in her front yard, and asked them not to do it any more, explained that he was quite ill and we needed him to come home for his medication, and that we’d spent £90 at the vet last week, which was a bit of a waste if we couldn’t actually get him home for pills.

“Oh” she said. “We thought you didn’t want him any more.” Which is just a bloody *nonsense*, isn’t it? They knew where we live, they knew where Iggy lived, and they must have heard us call and call him, and even pick him up from their front step. I do wish people wouldn’t feed other folks’ cats … Anyway, they say they won’t any more, but I’m not sure I actually believe them.

On the same subject, we’re not seeing much of Lilith at the moment either. Now, we know she has a penchant for, shall we say, sharing her favours – see this entry - so we weren’t too worried, although we do miss the vile baggage when she’s not around. The other night I woke up about 3.a.m,  to see her sitting on Pete’s chest of drawers. I actually woke him to see her, as I couldn’t be sure it wasn’t a dream, and he clearly remembered the next day.

Lo and behold, last night she burst through the cat flap, completely wired. Wouldn’t let us even touch here, looking completely feral. We gave her a pouch of wet food (a rare treat in this house, as they are fed on bikkit, mostly), and she positively ravened it down. She’s gone again now, but at least we know she’s OK, and she’ll be home when the weather turns. But I might do a bit of leafleting and ask people not to feed her, please.

Mirrored from the Tribe.


Sep. 14th, 2011 03:50 pm
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Lilith on the loft ladder

During the latter part of this morning, I could hear a cat going mew. It didn’t sound like any of ours – Mustrum gurgles and squeaks and shouts, Iggy rowls, Henry and Ron squeal. Lilith doesn’t speak much – she might say “hello” outside, but by and large she is pretty much mute indoors.

It drove me crazy – first I thought it was coming from the back of the house, but there was no cat in the yard, and nobody under the floorboards (we’re in the process of bathroom renovations). Then I thought it was coming from the front, but there were only the spotty boys out there.

This went on for about half an hour until a thought struck Pete; he’d bee putting some stuff in the loft. And where oh where was the devil cat? He opened the hatch, and out  came Lilith – slowly, making an entrance as befits her station. I had no idea she could make so much noise!

Don’t do it again, Lil.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Lilith on the fish tank

We have two fish tanks in the house, one tropical (upstairs), and one marine (downstairs). Lilith is very fond of the marine tank, due to its whizzy lights, and likes to sit on it.

The fish (all called George) don’t seem to mind, but they don’t say much, so who knows.

Should you wish to follow George’s antics, you will find them at GeorgetheFish.com.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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We were just settling down to sleep last night – indeed, I had almost drifted off – when there came an unseemly scrabbling from under the bed. For various reasons (mostly lack of space) we have a number of Things stowed under the bed, and the scrabbling indicated at least one cat doing … Something.

We switched on a light, and Pete peered underneath, to find Lilith and Henry; they do interact from time to time those two, so we hoped that was all it was, but no: a small rodent was involved too. And then Ron joined in too.

The rodent took refuge under something that the cats couldn’t extract him from, it quietened down, and I’m afraid we went back to sleep. So in a moment, Pete will have to go and see where the remains of it are …

When we lived in our North Somerset village, we used to get a lot of corpses; I was frequently heard to remark that it was like the Cambodian Killing Fields, and that Lilith had wrecked the local ecosystem. But they don’t catch much here – too urban, and too much feline competition. So I suppose we should say “well done”, because they’re only doing what cats do.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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regarding ...
As Pete posted elsewhere this morning:

“For various reasons, I’ve been considering Lilith this morning, and in the online part of that consideration was led to this. Seems appropriate, really, except that Lily doesn’t even *purr*.”

The philosopher Wittgenstein said — or I’ve seen him quoted as saying — that if a lion could talk, we would not understand it. This is an interesting thought, although the more I think about it the less I agree with what it seems to imply about either language, or lions, or both. But my 365 Day Cat Calendar recently gave me an excellent quotation along somewhat the same lines. Nan Porter (who ought to be a philosopher) said: “If cats could talk, they wouldn’t.”

from Ursula K Le Guin

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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lieblingLily is having a hard-ish time of it right now – Henry has been bullying her for a few months. Not constantly, but enough to make her life uncomfortable from time to time, and now Ron is starting to join in now and again.

However, Lilith is a stalwart, and takes it  pretty much all in her stride most of the time. Here you can see her being very stressed, on my desk. For some reason, I called her “mein leibling”, and it appears to be sticking.

I have had serious words with EnRon but, as you might imagine, they just ignored me (apart from a “purr” from Henry, which is his response to most things).

In other news, we picked up a cat tree this morning from our friend Samantha, who bought it at an auction for us. It has been placed in front of the living room window, but obviously nocat is going to sit on it for some time. I have seeded* it with catnip, so we shall see if that lures them. It’s quite a whizzy one, as it has not only a platform, but a rather fine tunnel, so I imagine they’ll have some fun with it when we’re not looking.

* Not literally.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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LilithAs I strolled back from the post box yesterday, I encountered Lily, about 50 yards or so up the road from the house, on the other side of the road. Being fed chickie! by an old lady, who apparently does this on a daily basis. And bikkit too.

I told her that Lilith was our cat, and she said “Oh, we thought she was a stray. I’ve been feeding her for weeks – she was so thin”.

Now, there’s no way Lily a) looks like a stray, or b) could in any way be described as thin. The woman asked why we let her out, and told me we “weren’t allowed” to let her roam free. After this, the conversation got quite acrimonious, especially when it transpired that Lily’s “angel” fan club had told this woman where she lived, but she “didn’t believe them”* – I suspect she is trying to adopt her by coercion, and after what happened at our old house, I’m damned if I’m letting that occur again.

I’ve asked her not to feed Lily any more, but I have no real hope of this happening – she really is a remarkably pretty cat, and people do like her. They don’t realise she’s a monster, but she is our monster.

*She could have come and asked, of course>

Mirrored from the Tribe.


Jun. 21st, 2010 05:42 pm
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A bunch of the local children have really taken to the Tribe; they assemble outside the house to visit the cats, who spend a fair amount of time in the street because that’s where the sun falls during the day.

I went out to talk to a couple of the kids this morning, who were making a huge fuss of Lilith (who was enjoying every minute of it), and told the boys her name.

“Oh”, they said. “We call her “Angel”".

Dear lord …

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Suzanne was kind enough to enquire after Lily, and I realised I had been remiss in not updating her fans. She is pretty much restored to full health now, thank you, but first she shared her cold with Henry and Ron.

Being rude mechanicals rather than pedigrees, they shook it off within the week, whereas she suffered for the best part of a fortnight, but all three of them are back to what passes for normal now.

Henry developed a nasty scabby rash along his spine, which I assumed was a flea allergy, so I washed and sprayed all their blankets and so forth, and thought I’d take him to the vet yesterday when his cold had cleared up. And lo and behold! – he appears to be a self-healing cat because, somehow, the rash was pretty much all gone overnight. What a fine chap he is.

Hopefully we’ve now seen the back of this infection, whatever it is, because the household budget can’t take the strain of feeding the whole lot on fresh roast chickie!

Mirrored from the Tribe.


Jun. 2nd, 2010 07:06 am
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waiting for springLilith is snuffling and sneezing, and has slightly runny eyes. We’re not sure whether it’s a cold, or an allergy maybe – she’s eating, but she wants company and comfort, which is unusual for her (to put it mildly).

So I went to bed early last night with a book, and carried her upstairs with me – astonishing in itself, as she’s not keen on behing held – so that she could curl up with me. She immediately settled on my pillow, where she has been all night, and remains there still, which has meant I’ve had a dreadful night.

I hate it when one of the cats is ill, and we haven’t yet sorted out a vet here, so I will be looking into that today, just in case. I’m not one for rushing them off to see a doc, any more than I would do it for myself, but we’re mindful of the fact that cat flu took Bada from us …

As we often say, Lilith is a monster, but she’s our monster, and we’re very fond.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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An unsatisfactory life; gloom, despondency, misery and starvation

I think they were protesting our culpability at letting it rain outside at this point. That and the utterly inadequate and, what’s more, inedible supplies of food downstairs.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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We have a large bedroom here, with two tall, south facing windows, so the sun streams in there during the day (when it shines at all, of course).  We set a chair that is very like, but is not, an Ikea Poang by one of the windows – it’s a nice quiet place if one of us wants to read or listen to music. And we assumed that the Tribe would love the chair, and bask in it during the sunlit afternoons.

But no – they never went near it, not even when I put one of their cat rugs on it.

I try very hard not to dump stuff on the chair, but a few days ago I left my swimming bag on there. And the next morning, when I got up, I most definitely didn’t see Iggy and Lily on the chair. No sirree Bob. Nor, at various times, have we seen Ron on the chair, or Mustrum (curiously, Henry has really not been seen on it). Iggy and Lily are on it now, in fact – they have spent every night on there since the bag arrived.

We can only assume that they’re now using it because it’s no longer clearly *meant* for them – ornery creatures, cats.

Mirrored from the Tribe.

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Lilith just ...

Temperatures here in North Somerset, in the UK, are at a very unseasonal 29° today - far too hot for us humans, and the cats are miserable.  They’re seeking out pockets of shade, and slumping all over the place.

Here’s Lilith, showing how to keep cool.

Mirrored from the Tribe.


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